With the evolution of mental health support to employees in the corporate world greater profile has inevitably exposed limitations in the existing mental health services and support.
Existing EAP’s are a good example whereby their inability to resolve certain mental health conditions is now being highlighted.
In the not too distant past stress management training was given to employees and then the company ticked the box to say they had delivered on their duty of care?!
What’s concerning at the moment is that this appears to happening again with some companies training advocates in the business with mental health awareness and then not doing any more to support their employees’ mental health and well-being.
Hence there is a ‘reactive’ environment being created that waits for an employee to struggle with a mental health condition before any remedial action is taken. Champions or line managers being trained to spot the signs and then signpost the individual is all well and good. However, as we all know, by this time the individual may have been suffering for some considerable time. They then may not get the correct intervention to resolve the condition because of the limitations of the company EAP.
Providing proactive workshops/training to employees that teach and give proven strategies to prevent mental health conditions appearing or reappearing are the most sensible and productive way forward for everyone. Couple this with 1-2-1 individual consultations with an experienced mental health professional that fills the gaps where the EAP does not provide resolution means the workforce receives the correct and comprehensive support.
1-2-1 consultation days can take two forms 1) mental health MoT checks of 30 mins in duration whereby mental health conditions that may be appearing can be identified and nipped in the bud before they get any more serious. And 2) One hour duration therapy sessions where resolution to conditions not able to be resolved by the company EAP can take place.
The days can be, and tend to be, structured as a combination of both forms.
Proactive or reactive?
Both need to be employed but the proactive services equip and empower employees with emotional intelligence and resilience that prevent the generic conditions of anxiety, stress and depression appearing or reappearing……..resulting in a far happier and more mentally robust workforce!
ROI, for the stakeholders that may be reading this? Very obvious. Less sick days and a happier workforce, greater retention of valued asset employees, greater productivity and less recruitment cost. No brainer.
Just ticking the box is no longer good enough.
Kevin Garrington - Mental Health Provider for more than 22 years - www.psynthesis.co.uk